'Government must now be equally aspirational in its thinking on social care': Hft responds to the Local Government Association's Lives We Want To Lead consultation analysis

Posted On: 
14th November 2018

Hft, a national charity that supports adults with learning disabilities, has responded to the publication of the Local Government Association (LGA)’s analysis of its Lives We Want To Lead green paper consultation. 

While the charity has welcomed the LGA’s views on the role of social care in the community, Hft has expressed concerns over the lack of learning disability-specific funding solutions.

The charity had previously submitted evidence to the consultation. It also facilitated responses from Voices to be Heard, the speak out group for people supported by the charity, and also from Hft’s Family Campaign Champions, a group of family advocates with relatives supported by the charity.

Billy Davis, Public Affairs & Policy Manager at Hft, commented: “The LGA green paper has been useful in opening up the debate on the future of social care at a time when the government continues to remain silent.

We particularly welcome proposals on moving the discussion on social care away from just providers to include the role of all other organisations within a community that impact on an individual’s life. As a charity, Hft is committed to ensuring the people we support live the best life possible, which often involves working in partnership with a wide range of local stakeholders.

“The paper also reinforces challenges arising from the funding cuts to local authorities and social care providers. It is clear that the £640m promised in the budget is insufficient to provide any significant long-term relief to a vital sector.

“However, it is somewhat disappointing that the proposed long-term funding solutions in the LGA green paper seem to focus on elderly people, with proposals suggesting adults pay throughout their working life to fund later life care. Adults with learning disabilities accounts for over one-third of total adult social care spending in England, and that demand is set to grow rapidly over the next five years. 

“Our own independent research has shown that the number of learning disability providers running at a deficit has more than trebled from 11% in 2016/17 to 34% in 2017/18. As the demand of learning disabilities on local authority’s spending continues to grow, we believe it is vital that learning disabilities be given sufficient attention in the long-awaited green paper.

“Ultimately, though, the LGA green paper has put forward some ambitious proposals for the future.  The government must now be equally aspirational in its thinking on social care, both in the immediate and long-term future.